Tutorial 201: Ugly Sweater

Joe Clay | Dec 13, 2019

In this After Effects tutorial, we take a look at how to build an ugly sweater. We start off by drawing a single stitch, and then repeat that into a full grid. Vertically, we skip every other row because we're coloring these using a source comp that has Mosaic applied to it. However, our Mosaic covers those skipped sections. If we only had one layer of fabric, we'd see the edges.

So instead, we skip rows and then use another copy of our source comp with another Mosaic on it. It needs to match up with the alternated threads, so we move it up with an effect like Motion Tile or Offset so that we don't lose the edges of our source, then we apply Mosaic, and then we shift it back into place. Mosaic doesn't have a setting to shift its effect, so we shift the layer instead.

After that we continue to build our effect procedurally, using adjustment layers to build the background of the fabric from the foreground. We rough it up, and add some fuzz to it to make it more realistic. And then we call it a day.

Many people have created this effect, so look around and experiment to make your own. It's a fun exercise to recreate real-world objects and I'm glad I could share my process with you!

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